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Presenting at NSTA Conferences

Given the continuing concerns around COVID-19, we are not currently accepting proposals for any of our upcoming conferences at this time.  

Later this year, we should begin accepting proposals for:

  • Portland Area Conference: October 28–30, 2021
  • National Harbor, Maryland, Area Conference: November 11–13, 2021
  • Los Angeles Area Conference: December 9–11, 2021
  • Houston National Conference: March 31–April 3, 2022

Proposals are no longer being accepted for the following conference:

  • 10th Annual STEM Forum & Expo in Detroit, Michigan: July 28–30, 2021

Conference Participation and Registration

Conference registration and payment of registration fees are required of all NSTA conference presenters and presiders. NSTA does not reimburse accepted presenters’ registrations or expenses associated with traveling to and from the conference.

For recommendations and other opportunities available to help with the cost of attending an NSTA conference, expand the content below.


How to Get the Money You Need for the Knowledge You Need!

NSTA Conferences on Science Education are designed to be an essential part of your professional development.

Only NSTA can bring together the nation’s experts on science education—in professional learning institutes (PLIs), and hundreds of presentations, workshops, symposia, seminars, and short courses. Fill in your content knowledge gaps, learn the latest scientific developments, and discover techniques to ensure that your students actually learn what you teach.

And, of course, there’s our highly anticipated Exhibition of Science Teaching Materials, presenting the newest and best in products and services for the science classroom from hundreds of familiar and new vendors. Our new name says it all—NSTA Conferences on Science Education bring science educators structured new opportunities that contribute to the craft of teaching … to help you professionally and in your classroom practices.

Step 1: Start as early as possible! It takes time to find out where the funds are and get qualified substitutes lined up. Check out what Maranacook Community High School did to raise money to send their staff to the 2014 Boston national conference. Click here for details.

Step 2: Find out who handles professional development decisions in your school and district. Ask your department chair, principal, district science supervisor, school/district instructional leader, or superintendent’s office which decision makers handle available grants, federal or otherwise.

Step 3: Create Your individual professional development plan … an essential part of getting funds from the district level.

Step 4: Be sure to include an NSTA Conference on Science Education in your individual professional development plan! Stress how professional development institutes, research dissemination conferences, symposia, short courses, and a planned pathway of sessions focus on content in your subject area and research-based instructional strategies. Use the Personal Scheduler on the NSTA website to create your own personalized pathway through conference sessions and presentations and submit it as a well-planned, cohesive personal program. Note that the exhibits feature the latest curriculum materials, resources, and professional development opportunities. Be sure to emphasize that NSTA conferences provide a unique opportunity to collaborate with your peers and science education leaders.

Check our continually updated website for additions to our roster of sessions, guest speakers, short courses, and other conference events. Whatever your science discipline and grade level, an NSTA Conference on Science Education is the smartest place on Earth for high-quality, cost-effective professional development.

Guidelines for Session Proposals

In an effort to accommodate as many presenters as possible, NSTA is instituting these updated guidelines for proposing sessions.

Failure to comply with these guidelines will result in your proposal(s) being declined.

Active and Retired Teachers/Educators

Active and Retired Teachers/Educators (and co-presenters) are invited to submit up to a maximum of three (3) proposals for consideration. Proposals should focus on the presenter's individual work and not offer any endorsements to specific products or services available on the market.

Nonprofit Organizations or Government Agencies

Nonprofit Organizations and Government Agencies are invited to submit up to a maximum of three (3) proposals for consideration. Proposals should focus on resources that are freely available and do not have any fee attached for participants to be able to fully utilize said resources.

Presentations focused on offering product(s) for sale, paid training or professional learning opportunities, supplements, or additional resources for a fee will need to be submitted as an Exhibitor Workshop.

Commercial Organizations

Commercial Organizations are invited to present via the Exhibitor Workshop option. To be eligible, companies must have an exhibit booth for the respective conference. Exhibitor workshops are guaranteed to be scheduled provided they meet acceptable standards of taste and NSTA Safety Guidelines. Fee Schedule, Key Dates, Submission Portal, and other important information are available on the Exhibitor Workshop page.

Science Consultants

Science Consultants are invited to submit up to a maximum of three (3) proposals for consideration. Proposals should focus on the presenter's individual work and not promote use of consultant’s service or any fee-based materials.

Preparing and Submitting a Session Proposal
  • Go to the Online Proposal Submissions page.
  • Log in with your last name and NSTA ID# or create a new NSTA online account. Please note that conference registration is not required to submit a proposal.
  • You must have cookies and Javascript turned on in your browser. Please check out these links for information on enabling JavaScript and cookies.
  • Having trouble submitting your proposal? Please try using a different web browser.
  • Click on the conference.
  • Please select each strand to see its description, goal, and criteria. You can either choose a strand or choose "Not Applicable." With the exception of the STEM Forum & Expo, it is not necessary to identify a strand for your proposal. Choosing a strand does NOT enhance chances for program selection! Please note that a strand IS required for STEM Forum & Expo proposals only.
  • Fill out the form completely. If you do not provide certain requested information, you will see a note near the "Save" button referring to any missing field.
  • Please note that you may select as many fields as applicable for "Science Focus."
  • Once your proposal is complete, please click "Save and Add/Remove Contributors" button, even if you are the only presenter for this proposal.
  • To add your co-presenters or presider, please search with their preferred e-mail address first. Once you find the correct person, please select either "presenter" or "presider." If you are unable to find your co-presenter or presider's name, please ask him or her to create an NSTA account. Once this has been done, you will be able to select this person for your proposal.
  • Once you have added all of your co-presenters and presider, click the "Done" button.
  • Now check the "Ready for Submission" box and click the "Save" button at the bottom.
  • Shortly after submitting your proposal, you'll receive an e-mail with "Proposal Submission Confirmation" in the subject line. This e-mail will contain details on your proposal as well as important conference dates.
  • Questions or problems? Try using a different web browser or contact
Details for Presenters and Presiders

AV Equipment for Face-to-Face Conferences

Meetings rooms are equipped with an LCD projector and screen. Also, microphones will be provided in meeting rooms seating 100 or more people. If you have any questions or require internet service for your session, please contact the conference department at

Adding a Copresenter

If you are adding a copresenter to your session, please click here for a safety agreement form. Please ask your new copresenter to complete and sign this form, including session number, session title, and conference city.

Completed forms should be submitted electronically using the “Submit Form” button.

Presenters Check-In for Face-to-Face Conferences

After you have picked up your conference materials, be sure to check in at the Presenters/Presiders Booth located in the Attendee Services area to receive your Presenter pin(s) or Presider ribbon(s).

Handouts and Copies

Presenters are encouraged to upload materials. Instructions will be sent to presenters before each event.

Setting Up for Face-to-Face Conferences

If your audiovisual needs were confirmed, then your room should be set up for you when your session begins. Presenters will also have some time prior to the session to set up additional materials. If you would like to send any presentation materials in advance, check with your hotel—most hotels have holding areas and will store your shipped items for a few days before you arrive.

Wi-Fi or Internet Service for Face-to-Face Conference Sessions

Please note that NSTA internet service for teacher presentations can be provided. In addition for each of teacher session, NSTA provides an LCD projector and screen. If you require internet service, please contact the conference department at

Presenter / Presider Pins or Ribbons for Face-to-Face Conferences

When you arrive at the conference, please check in at the Presenters/Presiders/Evaluation booth located in the NSTA Registration Area to obtain your presenter pin(s) or presider ribbon(s).

Need a Safety Agreement Form or a Copy of the Safety Guidelines?

All presenters are required to submit a signed session confirmation or safety agreement form for each of their sessions, even if they are not primary presenters. Please click here for a copy of the “NSTA Minimum Safety Practices and Regulations” and a safety agreement form.

The NSTA Board of Directors has approved the inclusion of presenters’ e-mail addresses in the online listing on a voluntary basis. Please check the appropriate box on the safety agreement form to indicate whether you want your e-mail address included in the online listing or not.

Signed safety agreement forms should be submitted electronically using the “Submit Form” button.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Deadlines for Submitting Session Proposals?

  • 2020 STEM Forum & Expo, hosted by NSTA: December 3, 2019
  • 2020 Area Conferences: January 15, 2020
  • 2021 National Conference: April 15, 2020

What Are the Criteria for Rating Proposals?

The program committee will be looking at the following:

  • Does the proposal clearly describe the session?
  • Is the information provided in the proposal complete?
  • Is the proposed session topic timely/appropriate?
  • Is the proposed session based upon contemporary research, such as A Framework for K–12 Science Education?
  • How does the proposed session address the Next Generation Science Standards (or other standards based on the Framework for K–12 Science Education)?
  • If identified for a particular strand, does the proposed session address the corresponding criteria?

Reviewers will be looking through your whole proposal to check the completeness of the information provided but will focus on your 150–200-word summary to review its content.

TO BE CONSIDERED, SESSION PROPOSALS MUST BE RECEIVED BY THE DEADLINE. Due to space limitations, not all deserving proposals can be accommodated. Reviewers will prioritize proposals based on a balanced program (i.e., science disciplines and teaching levels) as well as the above criteria.

I Submitted My Session Proposal … Now What?

Your session proposal will go to the conference program committee for consideration. Composed of educators of all levels, the committee will review all proposals, determining which to include in the program. NSTA Headquarters will then notify you by mail of the decision regarding your proposal. If your proposal was accepted, you and your co-presenters will each receive an e-mail confirmation giving the date, time, and place of your scheduled session.

I Received a Confirmation E-mail. What Should I Do Now?

Read the confirmation e-mail carefully. Your name and affiliation will appear in the program as shown; are they correct? Are the names and affiliations of your co-presenters correct? Did we address your needs for audiovisual equipment correctly? Is your room set-up correct?

Check the facts. Will you be able to be there on the date shown? Are your co-presenters still intending to be there? If all information is correct, please read our safety practices (attached to the e-mail) and reply to our e-mail and answer the safety questions, using red type if possible. Remember, only presenters and co-presenters who have indicated compliance with NSTA safety practices can be listed in the online listing.

If you need a letter to your administrator or supervisor to document your participation as a presenter, please include this information in your e-mail reply.

Can I Cancel a Session?

If you are canceling your session, the Conference Office needs to be informed as soon as possible so that your space can be assigned to someone else. Please e-mail Jasmine Dandridge at

Can I Add or Remove Presenters/Presiders?

If you wish to add or remove a presenter or presider, please e-mail Jasmine Dandridge at Any new presenters will have to submit their names and contact information. They will receive an e-mail confirmation and they must reply to our e-mail and answer the safety questions.

I Did Not Receive a Response to My Proposal—Why Not?

If you did not receive a response either way from NSTA, there may have been a miscommunication or a problem with your e-mail address.

Session confirmation e-mails are sent as follows:

  • For the STEM Forum & Expo—E-mail confirmations are usually sent in late March.
  • For the fall conferences—E-mail confirmations are usually sent in late May.
  • For the national conference—E-mail confirmations are usually sent in late November.

If you have not received an e-mail from the NSTA Conference Department by the above dates, please e-mail our database coordinator Jasmine Dandridge at

How Will My Session Be Listed on the Conference Website or Online Listing?

Preliminary descriptions of scheduled sessions, including presenters, will be accessible on our website prior to the conference using the conference session browser/personal scheduler.

The final conference program, distributed on-site, reflects the most recent information available as submitted via confirmation e-mails. Presenters and co-presenters who do not send an e-mail reply to their session confirmation e-mail will not be listed on the online session browser.

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